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What is Novolin Insulin?

Novolin is the brand name of a range of insulin-containing products that includes “regular” insulin (Novolin R, Novolin ge Toronto), NPH or isophane insulin (Novolin N) and a variety of preparations containing a mixture of both Regular and NPH insulin.

Regular insulin

Regular insulin, also known as neutral or soluble insulin, is a type of short-acting insulin with a typical onset of about 30 minutes and a duration of up to 8 hours. It can be used before meals to control the spike in blood sugar that occurs when you eat.


NPH insulin, also known as isophane insulin, is an intermediate–acting insulin given to help regulate your blood sugar levels. The onset of effect usually occurs in about 90 minutes, and it can last up to 24 hours. NPH insulin is made by mixing regular insulin with protamines, which are small proteins that help slow down the onset of the insulin and increase the duration of the insulin effects.

Mix (30/70, 40/60, 50/50)

NPH insulin can be combined with faster acting regular (R) insulin to allow for more accurate dosing and superior blood sugar regulation. When administered together, the two insulin types (NPH and R) are normally combined together in the same syringe.

What is Novolin used for?

Novolin insulin products are used for the treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus that require insulin for the control high blood sugar.

NPH insulin is an intermediate-acting insulin analog that is used for all day protection against fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Regular insulin on the other hand, is a short acting insulin which provides control of over your rising blood sugar sooner, and it is suitable for the insulin support you need during meals. Regular insulin also happens to be the treatment of choice for the two major diabetic complications, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, which is when you have severe dehydration resulting from high blood sugar, and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is the abnormal increase of ketones in the urine or blood.

How does it work?

Novolin insulin products all contain insulin analogs which have a similar mode of action to that of naturally occurring insulin: regulating blood sugar levels by controlling the breakdown of food (carbohydrates, fats and proteins), and stimulating the absorption of sugar out of the blood.

Regular insulin is a short acting insulin that begins working within 30 minutes and lasts up to 8 hours. Insulin isophane (NPH) begins to work within 90 minutes and lasts approximately 24 hours.

When coupled together, the regular and NPH insulin can add superior blood sugar level control by combining the rapid effects of regular insulin with the prolonged extended blood sugar control of NPH insulin. Together, they can help you can better match your insulin levels to mimic the action of natural insulin activity. This prevents the fluctuations in blood sugar levels seen with insulin analogs alone, thereby reducing the effects of your diabetes symptoms and helping you live and feel better.

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